Research and literature tend to focus on racial groups other than Asian Americans due to their relatively statistically low teen pregnancy rates. This study aims to contribute to that gap by examining the lived experience of five second-generation Hmong American teen mothers. Using a phenomenological approach, the study found that most participants were culturally but not legally married, thus they are not counted in the statistics on teen marriages. Although participants were still teenagers, they considered themselves adults once they were culturally married and/or became mothers. In addition to carrying the responsibilities associated with the roles of wife and mother, they added another significant role in the Hmong culture--that of daughter-in-law. However, even with these demands, most participants had completed high school and were planning to pursue post-secondary degrees. Findings from the lived experiences of the participants in this study contribute to a more culturally nuanced understanding of teen motherhood and marriage and provide insights into the support that Hmong teen mothers need to be successful.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. June 2014. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Catherine Solheim, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 83 pages, appendices A-B.
The lived experience of second-generation Hmong American teen mothers: a phenomenological study.
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